Africa RISING program coordination team meeting #8
Date : 5 June 2015
Venue: IFPRI, Washington DC
Time: 09:00 - 1300



PCT page


Participants

Jerry Glover
Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon
Peter Thorne
Carlo Azzarri
Bernard Vanlauwe
Siboniso Moyo
Peter Ballantyne

sara
kindu
asamoah



Notes from the meeting




Logistics

Immediately following the program retreat


Agenda


  • Overall action points
  • USAID Update
  • Africa RISING Project updates
    • Eastern and southern Africa and West Africa
      • Research update
      • Staff update
      • Work plans and priorities
    • The Ethiopian highlands
      • Research update
      • Staff update
      • Work plans and priorities
  • M & E updates
  • Communication updates
  • SAG: new chair, conflicts of interest?, remuneration
  • Next PCT meeting - first thursday of every month. gotomeeting. 9 am washington DC.
  • AOB:



Overall action points



Action
Status
Notes and Actions update
1
Theory of change and impact pathways
Adopt a program level ToC - Clean and finalise this - expose to teams and scientists, getting feedback. Irmgard, PeterT, chief scientists. By end July.

Elaborate ToC for 'project' activities/protocols in regions. Start in Ethiopia with project ToC - groundtruth. PeterT. Feedback/learning by end August.

Early Sept - organize a cross-region discussion - Bernard to lead

For current phase use any existing planning tools/instruments

Review approach and plans in the symposium.

Find the wider FtF/USAID 'zone of influence' numbers and include as targets (from scaling and partners not from direct research). Add thru the IPs. Carlo/IFPRI with heavy inputs from country teams. Ready in time for the external review - mid Oct latest

- Included into work stream of the program workshop
? action/discussion points


.
2
'Systems' research futures
Perception that cg systems crps 'failed' - implications for AR?

Mission buy-in is a way to counter this

Different forms of 'systems' research - livelihoods systems versus cropping/farming systems. Worry that systems research in new commodity agri-food crps will be less livelihoods type.

These issues and concerns need to be addressed in the phase 2 proposal

Develop and document a strong evidence based storyline; breadth, focus .. unique selling point.

Ready in time for the external review - mid Oct latest

- Included into work stream of the program workshop
? action/discussion points
3
Phase 2 proposal
Proposal to be submitted - April/May 2016 estimate

Develop and document a strong evidence base for the scaling approach; partnerships; numbers; impact pathways

Have something around the 5+2 SI indicators ready

Perhaps need to have 3 projects - linked - to avoid usaid financial ceilings

Constitute small design group - petert, irmgard, chief scientists, carlo, bernard
- impact pathways piece
- systems piece
- numbers piece
[dates: 1-4 september in Wagenngen)

Consider ways other initiatives can co-support AR; or we co-support them (eg BMGF-ICRISAT sep 2015 drylands WA convening)

Need to consider 2 other issues in the phase 2 proposal: partnerships; climate-smart ag

Any CRP association? Or not?

What focus and how to get there?

- Included into work stream of the program workshop
this whole thing to be discussed in the pct design retreat
6
Program Agenda/Calendar
See events list. Send updates to Simret

ESA review and planning (Jul)
External Review
Symposium
PMMT trainings - feedback sessions with farmers - Carlo to co-plan with country scientists
? action/discussion points
7
Engaging farmers into program activities
- we have engagement guidelines / circulate and perhaps revise/ common principles needed
- take stock how this happens in different countries - chief scientists
- Included into work stream of the program workshop
? actions/discussion points
8
Science Advisory Group
? Third meeting with current membership later in June: dates, location. PT to contact chair.

? SAG membership - need replacements for Maggie Gill (livestock) as chair and Dave Harris (farming systems) or economist. PT to lead.

Convene special PCT virtual session on SAG members by mid July; nominate new names by end June.
? action/discussion points

3rd meeting virtual in June

4th meeting in Ethiopia in Nov

Invited to the Oct symposium
9
SI framework and indicators
We are using these in the new program framework

2 postdocs getting involved - thru MSU and Columbia U; first results in July 2016. partners meetings, validation, visits all planned, also with AR sites. July 2015 start. Vara to send concept notes to Jerry to circulate.

Post-San Jose steering committee led by SI lab (Vara) the main vehicle to take this agenda forward. Also need more comms around the agenda and all the various activities to wider groups (eg the san jose group). Evolving into a SI CoP.

- Included into work stream of the program workshop
? action/discussion points
Carlo, IHZ and PT to continue active involvement in the steering committee.
9
Internal-commissioned Project and program reviews and issues arising
Projects to act on the recommendations, as appropriate

Suggest projects provide responses/commentaries on the review reports. Useful for the USAID reviewers. PT/IHZ

10
USAID commissioned external evaluation
Starts September 2015; Ethiopia, Ghana, program workshop, then Mali
ESA in March 2016
Final report April 2016
Interim report Nov 2015
Make clear it is 3+1 projects

Report needs to say that AR learned, has a new framework has more focus, etc.

11
Farm typologies work
CA - wants to hold a meeting to take this forward (in europe) with WUR. Carlo to lead the typologies followup. Need to link with HT discussions, embed into experimentation, engaging with farmers.

Wageningen meeting planned - end 24-26 August

- Included into work stream of the program workshop
? action/discussion points
Work on Farm typologies - Carlo to lead follow up
12
Africa RISING program strategy workshop
Agreed that the symposium needs to be more of a strategic workshop.
To be held 6-8 October in Mali
co-locate with learning/M&E events
? action/discussion points
13
Data management and sharing
We decided to use the ILRI CKAN platform.
Data sharing policy was approved during the Arusha meeting (lNovember 2014).
Policy is already binding for researchers on the ground; also for partners.
Partners are mandated to share
Need to solve the problem of efficient workflow IFPRI-ILRI-outside world through the access and sharing permissions.

Action: review final policy? It is accessible on the wiki: http://africarising.wikispaces.com/program_moneval
? action/discussion points

Need to ensure that country data are contributed
How do we get all the data submitted
Next ESA review and planning meeting
Follow up in washington - make space for this



USAID Update


Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks

Task
Status
Notes for PCT review
Links with other funders


Funding for scaling up


SI Innovation Laboratory








ESA Update


Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks

Task
Status
Notes for PCT review
2014-2016 workplans and budget
Workplans and budget are with Steering Committee for approval IHZ: WORKPLANS ARE IMPLEMENTED

Technical report to USAID
NEXT REPORT (OCTOBER 14 TO MARCH 15) UNDER PREPARATION;
Report submitted to donor

Project document
Will be prepared before review in February (IHZ) IHZ: DONE;
revision not done

IP establishment
R4D platforms in several locations IHZ: 2 IN TANZANIA AND 2 IN MALAWI AT DISTRICT LEVEL OPERATIONAL

New partnerships
USAID Africa Bureau has provided US$ 350k to IITA for contracting MSU to carry out a desk study with Zambian national partners to provide the scientific evidence base for the links between field and farm level SI interventions and climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. Project is implemented, inception workshops held. System Dynamics Model developed and introduced to partners during a workshop for feedback. Currently revised. IHZ: PROJECT RECEIVED NO COST EXTENSION UNTIL END OF AUGUST 15.

Concept note to the USAID mission in Tanzania is under preparation for scaling technologies for rice, maize, beans, vegetables, soil fertility (fertilizer), strengthening seed systems, post harvest handling (4.5-5m for 3 years). Project approved ($2,000,000 for year 1). Workplans currently finalized IHZ: SCALING EXPERT EMPLOYED IN FEBRUARY; GIS POSITION RE-ADVERTISED, INTERVIEWS ON 22 APRIL;
GIS position filled on 1 June
? action/discussion points
Will this project continue beyond August 2015?






WA Update

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks

Task
Status
Notes for PCT review
Scientist visits to other countries
IHZ: IN APRIL SCIENTISTS FROM WA AND ESA WILL VISIT LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES IN ET;
Very successful visit

Project document
under preparation, will be ready for the project evaluation
Prepared but needs revision - end of December 2014 IHZ: NOT DONE;
Revision still not done

2014/15 Workplan implementation
PLANNING OF FIELD ACTIVITIES TO BE CONCLUDED SOON;
Wokrplan updated and partner contracts signed

Technical report to USAID
REPORT FOR PERIOD OCTOBER 14 TO MARCH 15 UNDER PREPARATION,
Submitted

IP establishment
6 DISTRICT LEVEL PLATFORMS IN PLACE IN GHANA AND 2 IN MALI;
FARA to be contracted to help with Platforms in Ghana







Ethiopia Update


Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks

ask
Status
Notes for PCT review
Meher season action research
c. 30 research protocols implemented across all sites after participant selection meetings.

New partnerhships
Fertilizer project initial concept note approved, finalising proposal with mission (Ethiopia mission, led by ILRI)

Follow up with BMGF?

Good initial meetings with GAIN around nutrition (dairy and household nutrition; biofortification)
? action/discussion points
Fertilizer proposal did not come to fruition.
Interesting indications of ground up adoption for scaling of AR initiatives (e.g. S. Tigray Zone / AGP inputs). Facilitated by IPs.
2014-2015 workplan
implementation

? action/discussion points
Follow up and new protocols currently being submitted for implementation June 2015. Shift away from survey / diagnostics to on-farm action and scaling.
Technical reports to USAID
October 2014 - March 2015 report in preparation

IP establishment
Training of local facilitators in IP maintenance and comms tools; IPs established at different levels

IPs as potential locus for 'research on scaling'?

Several documents and guidelines produced
? action/discussion points
External review
Took place March/April 2015; report in preparation
? action/discussion points
Planning meeting
Took place early December 2014; Reviewed protocols; focus on scaling and led to draft scaling plan

Monthly CGIAR meetings
Well attended with regular info sharing and reporting

Scaling
Draft scaling plan produced
Initial conversations with local comms partners (video/radio) to explore scaling support
? action/discussion points
Evidence already crystallising of "spontaneous" scaling. Two specific research protocols in preparation:
1. Mapping the diffusion of Africa RISING innovations via spontaneous scaling activities.
2. A comparison of campaign based approaches to promote the scaling of AR innovations.

Exploring links with Digital Green and Farm Radio

M&E Update


Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks

Task
Status
Notes for PCT review
PMMT

Actions:
2 days of PMMT training in all countries/sites

Updates to the tool, among other things, separation of the mapping application from the data entry application (to make the system faster).

This round of training on the PMMT will include:
-training on the FtF indicators
-training on consistency-checks embedded excel template for offline data compilation (for uploading onto the PMMT and then FtFMS)

IFPRI is working with AR colleagues to identify AR researchers for these training, as this round of training be given to selected AR researchers willing to serve as Points of Contacts (PoCs), to jointly address questions that may arise post training,

IFPRI also proposes that all Ftf data get uploaded onto the PMMT by October 31st or a month before the FtFMS portal closes, to give time for checking and aggregation of WP-level data to mega-site level
Ongoing


Coordination of training ongoing

Ongoing, ready by mid-June in time for the training
Main point is the data sharing and management - ensure (meta) data is shared

BVL: whose job is it to analyze the data? - the projects all together. Up to each project to do own analysis.

IFPRI needs to alert project scientists that the baseline data is available. send a reminder. -> done

Another main point the evolving IFPRI scope of work in AR -SoW circulated
Data
Malawi ARBES published on IFPRI internal platform (Dataverse): Tanzania next

Data cleaning and documentation for Malawi, Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, and Ethiopia

Reports under preparation:
-Ghana and Mali reports to be shared with field research teams by 4/30
-Tanzania under revision
-Malawi and Ethiopia next in the agenda

Actions:
Follow up with Zambia and Wageningen team (for SIMLEZA data access); with Thom Jayne (MSU) (for RALS data access)
Ongoing

Data cleaning done for MWI, TZA.


Ghana report shared, Mali ongoing
Ongoing

Not yet pursued due to lack of time in analyzing Zambia data

External collaborations:
Wageningen team
FAO: Memorandum of Understanding signed
Biosight/IAMM (water, land, ecosystem integration)
Bioversity
Internal collaborations:
IFPRI-IITA collaboration on research output for Ghana (and possibly Mali)
IFPRI-IITA collaboration on data collection in Babati (with Job Kihara and Gundula Fischer)
Ongoing
Ongoing
Ongoing
Dialogue initiated

Ongoing
Dialogue initiated

Staffing
Talks b/n IFPRI, IITA and ILRI for Ghana, Mali, and Ethiopia M&E data managers. Asamoah's proposal is to hire nationally recruited M&E officers for Ghana and Mali with IFPRI's total contribution of $50k; Peter T. proposal is to hire a data manager in Ethiopia with IFPRI's contribution of $35k. IFPRI is proposing that Ethiopia/ILRI data manager be responsible for both monitoring of EH project and managing of AR data through CKAN
Under discussion


Annual M&E meeting preparation and organization in Bamako, (October 2015) jointly with the Science Symposium
Ongoing


Paper on targeting and expected impact in Malawi submitted to ICABR and ICAE; poster presented at Humidtropics conference
Done, presented at several conferences


Paper on Sustainable Intensification and Dietary Quality: How sensitive is crop income to dietary quality in Malawi? Abstract submitted to the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition, October 2015, Cornell
Ongoing


IFPRI Scope of Work circulated. Discussion completed with USAID
Approved by USAID with comments


AR-CKAN:
42 metadata received thus far:
  • 17 from Ethiopia
  • 9 from Mali
  • 4 from Ghana
  • 1 from Zambia
  • 2 from Tanzania
  • 5 from IFPRI
  • 4 from WUR

No metadata received from Malawi.

Links sent to researchers to upload the data. So far, only 14 raw data are uploaded, some with missing information (the deadline was end of April):
  • 3 from Ethiopia
  • 4 from Ghana
  • 1 from Tanzania
  • 1 from Zambia
  • 5 from IFPRI

Option to discuss is to use Agtrials data, available from CCAFS here http://www.agtrials.org
Ongoing
How many agr. trials do we have in AR?


Do we hold back funding from people not delivering data


Chief scientists have important roles


Culture of sharing and awareness, capacity development necessary


Improve the workflows for CKAN? widen access to CKAN?



Comms Update


Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks

Task
Status
Notes for PCT review
Publicity materials


Briefs
See list at:
cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/27623
Now 18 completed (all ethiopia); converting another 10 or so from other regions with same template
Virtual comms team catchups
Irregular

Half-yearly comms metrics/stats

http://africa-rising.wikispaces.com/webstats
Web site updates
32 updates and posts this year (from all regions)
12000 views this year (9000 same period last year)
Need to go thru and update descriptive info on ESA and WE
Wiki gardening/management
25000 views from 9000 visitors

Documents to CGSPACE
288 documents/products online
19 in 2015
77 in 2014
IITA will join cgspace as its own repository

Use of yammer for internal updating
We are seeing regular posting and reactions
Do we need more systematic/regular internal updates from coordinators?
Photo sharing on flickr
regularly updated

Presentations shared on slideshare
regularly updated

ARISING calendar updating
regularly updated

Photojournalist 2016 ESA


Learning Event 2015

Link to 'science' meeting in October
Messaging

Prepare slide decks of data, evidence, stories; also climate-smart ag and private sector